Check it out: A glimpse at the Gleason Library staff

While books, computers, magazines, and other media draw people to the library, it is the ambiance of the beautiful building and the helpful nature of the staff that keep people coming back. Here are brief profiles of the staff members at the Gleason Public Library.

Linda Dodge
Linda Dodge: I came to Gleason Public Library in the fall of 1998, bringing with me a background in the elementary education, paralegal, and landscaping fields. I really enjoyed the warmth and congeniality of both the staff and the patrons! After the library's renovation, I became a full-time employee, taking charge of the circulation department.

While most of the staff takes part in most phases of the library work, we each have our "specialties." Some of my responsibilities at Gleason Library include ordering supplies, training new circulation staff, designing signs and posters, and managing the tapes and CDs that we borrow from the Northern Massachusetts Regional Library System. I enjoy the time that I spend at the children's desk and designing some of the children's displays. If you come into the library and find we've moved things around, you may have me to blame for this, too, as I try to manage the amount of material on our shelves.

Shelagh Tomaino: I have worked at the Gleason Public Library for three years. Previously, I worked at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in the Office of Community Service developing and launching one of the premiere university-supported Learning in Retirement Programs. I worked for eight years at the Bentley College Graduate School of Business recruiting, traveling, marketing, and managing admissions for the MBA program and various Master of Science degree programs. I have also taught career- development courses at the University of Massachusetts. My husband and I were co-chairs of the Massachusetts Special Olympics Volunteers in the mid 1990s. I have a BSBA in finance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana; and post graduate work in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. My husband and I have two children and are expecting our third in the spring. [Shelagh's baby, a girl, Ella Grace, was born on Saturday, April 17.]

Scott McLachlan: I've been at the Gleason Library for about three years while also working toward and receiving a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons. Primarily I work on the reference desk answering many different types of questions which range from things such as finding out the number of automobile crashes at a particular intersection, finding out what band had the most number-one chart hits in one year, searching for books similar to previously read favorites, looking up background information on plays and operas that are about to be seen, and many other interesting questions. I also attend to other varied duties.

Marty Seneta
Marty Seneta: I began my library experience by exploring different types of libraries. I have worked as a reference librarian in a big city library, at a junior college, and for the Public Library Services for the state of Georgia. I was also a young-adult librarian and spent five years substituting in the Chelmsford Public School at all age levels in the media centers. With all of this experience in tow, I completed my Master's of Library and Information Science degree at Simmons College. I then worked for five years at the Medford Public Library as a children's librarian before coming to the Gleason Library in 1997 as the head of Children's Services and the Assistant Director.

The best thing about my job is its incredible variety. It is primarily a "people" job but also requires close attention to details and strong research skills. (No, we do not read books all day and the pace can be quite hectic!) I work with patrons of all ages, from toddlers to high school students to adults. Pre-schoolers energize me with their delight in the world around them. It is challenging but rewarding to find a book that will appeal to the reluctant reader as well as the child who has literally read all of the books in the Junior room. I must also consider the information needs of children and their parents with respect to school assignments. These many aspects of my job require constant balancing of our patrons' needs with the library's resources, but the effort pays rich dividends. Matching the right book with the right reader can open up a new world and make anyone smile.

Shirley Pearlman: I came to the Gleason Public Library eight years ago, after realizing that I was not ready for retirement. I was able to bring my 28 years of experience as a public school librarian at both the elementary and high school levels. Being part of the many changes that have taken place since I've been here has been both exciting and rewarding. While most of my time is spent doing circulation, I have also been able to do some story-time programs — something I really enjoy.

Sukie Reed: I am a library assistant II. I have been with the library since the opening of the renovated building in 2000. I work primarily at circulation, but often cover the children's desk. My behind-the-scene tasks include cataloging and preparing our DVDs for circulation. I also specialize in repairing and mending books and other library items.

Constance Manoli-Skocay: I work at the Gleason Public Library's reference desk and also function as the library's archivist and local historian. I hold master's degrees in U.S. History and Library and Information Science. I also serve as the archivist for the Carlisle Historical Society.

Kay Edelberg
The following three profiles were originally printed in the February 6 edition of the Mosquito, but "a good cast bears repeating." In their own words, here are the three library staff members who live in Carlisle.

Kay Edelberg: I have always loved libraries and worked in one at Skidmore College where I received a BA in English Literature. After graduation, I taught language arts for six years in the upper elementary grades, a background which has helped define my "niche" at the Gleason Library. In the 21 years that I've worked here, I've participated in 20 different summer programs and 19 years of storytimes. I particularly enjoy the reference aspect of my job as well as the daily contact with Carlisle patrons.

My husband Murray and I moved to Carlisle 30 years ago, and our daughter, Lise, grew up here. When not working at the library, I take care of Sophie and Ben, my one-and-a-half-year-old twin grandchildren who live in Brookline.

Jean Forman
Jean Forman: I moved to Massachusetts in 1982 from Dallas, Texas, where I worked in a bookstore as a sales clerk and children's book buyer. I started working at the library in October 1986 after my elder daughter started college and my younger daughter was in high school. When I first started, the library was under the direction of Peggy Hilton and had only five other employees (now we have 14). Occasionally we would even work alone. Now we always have at least three people working, but sometimes four or five. I also remember the first time the circulation reached 100 items a day. Now we easily do 100 items an hour. When I first started, we all did a little of everything — circulation, children's, periodicals, inter-library loans, cataloging, and reference. Now we are more specialized and I concentrate on circulation with occasional stints in the children's room. I also try to keep track of the periodicals and newspapers. Purchasing orders for the books and audio books, periodicals, videos, CDs and DVDs is another of my tasks.

Deena Scaperotta: I am a fairly recent addition to the Town of Carlisle and to the staff of the Gleason Public Library. I moved to Carlisle from Boston with my husband and two school-age children in 2001. The move felt right; we have enjoyed our adjustment to living in Carlisle. Before I had children, I worked in libraries for about ten years, including university, architecture, design, and public libraries. When I saw a Gleason Library job listing in the Mosquito, I knew right away that I should apply for the position. I started working part-time this past summer in circulation and children's. I think the town is fortunate to have such a beautifully designed building and I am enjoying working again with the diverse collection of a public library.

And let us not forget Library Director, Angela Reddin